In case you’ve been stranded on a deserted island for the past two years, you already know that Elio Motors is in trouble. The company needs to raise $100 million just to stay afloat, and still has no product in sight.
To help with this effort, The Daily Beast reports that Elio has tapped two former Trump campaign officials to work as lobbyists. Their job is to get the definition under United States law of what constitutes an automobile changed, so it covers three-wheeled vehicles. That would give it access to federal incentives, and maybe provide a chance for the company to survive.
One of the main advantages Elio would have as an automaker is the ability to pilfer credits through the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.
The other big hope for Elio is to get a $185 million loan from the Department of Energy through the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program. The government gave preliminary approval for the loan two years ago, then nothing. Long story short, this program has sat dormant for years, so Elio likely is screwed there.
Speaking of being screwed, Jalopnik has a great article about the economic ruin in Shreveport, La., and how Elio got people’s hopes up, only to let everyone down. Messy legal issues surround the slow collapse of Elio Motors, including a strange real estate deal surrounding the dormant factory.
In short, now’s not a good time to bet on Elio Motors making it.